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If God inspired the Bible, then it cannot conflict with science

An essay by Dawn Wessel from her book titled 'Science: Champion of the Bible' 1

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Introduction:

"I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details." Albert Einstein

Mr. Einstein was not the only one to wonder about such things. He would have asked penetrating questions and obviously the religious answers he got did not satisfy his inquiring mind. However, if the Bible was inspired by the same person who created the universe, it should be able to answer this query to some satisfaction.

But what if what we always thought we knew about the Bible was nothing like it really is? And though Christianity and the Bible have always been portrayed synonymously, what would happen if we discovered they are not the same???

Although depicted mostly as a 'religious' book, the Bible is really more a book of 'science'. The reason why Christianity and other Bible-based religions often disagree on doctrine is because the interpreters attempt to explain that which must be 'self-interpreting'. Contained within the Bible itself is the method for interpretation. This methodology is scientifically sound and refutes many long-held foundational Bible-based doctrines.

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Mr. Darwin – The Keen Observer:

Governing edicts in early U.S. universities were often established by church clergymen who genuinely and sincerely believed there were certain things about God and creation which were beyond question. But things changed and leaders of higher learning began to realize that freedom to question all things is a necessary step to arriving at 'truth'. And in fact that questioning would actually eliminate error because the more an idea or thought is scrutinized the more sure will be the certainty of the thing.

Fantasy must give way to fact as everything is examined under close analysis. When a persons' doctrine or belief system is challenged with credible arguments, it is an underlying fear that their philosophies will be found to be erroneous which causes panic and an emotional reflex action of anger and defensiveness. However, only when a theory is investigated closely and found to be consistent over time does it then become an established fact. This is what science attempts to be.

Early scientists often met with resistance to their observations and Mr. Darwin was no exception. Any initial observation begins with a 'hypothesis' based on 'present evidence' and only consistent study will either corroborate or refute that. However, most often the initial assumption is partially correct and the observer builds upon that information. This all takes a good deal of time though and the process cannot be rushed.

Mr. Darwin's theories threw the religious community of his day into a frenzy, seeming to question the very foundation of Judeo-Christianity. But then, what if God created life with only basic building blocks, but which allowed it to evolve and adapt, making nature self-sustaining? (If nature cannot sustain itself then God is not a very good creator!!!) The idea created havoc in Bible-believing circles. Christians were afraid the very backbone of society was being eroded and so fought Mr. Darwin's theories with vehemence, often misconstruing his ideas. And yet religious institutions really owe Mr. Darwin a debt of gratitude and an apology because when he observed nature he was seeing into the very mind of the creator of the universe.

To inquiring minds, Darwin's ideas were like a locomotive engine that had run away leaving the rest of the train behind. There was no stopping the interest his observations had generated.

Yes Mr. Darwin made some remarkable statements. But why should that be intimidating? If nature was created by the God of the Bible and all Mr. Darwin did was observe that creation and hypothesize based upon what he studied, wouldn't that make him God's defender rather than God's enemy?

Early paleontologists also met with great resistance from the Christian community who often refused to even consider evidence. The age of the bones according to science, contradicted Biblical ideas about the age of the earth. When evidence of dinosaurs became even stronger and impossible to ignore, Christians began looking for Biblical evidence to justify their acceptance of the bones.

Reference in the Bible to a creature called 'Leviathan' is thought to be referring to a dinosaur, although the Hebrew definition is translated 'crocodile or alligator' but I personally think that is erroneous. There is also the description of 'behemoth' in Job 40:15-23, this creature 'moves his tail like a cedar'. Hebrew interprets the word as 'water-ox' or 'Hippopotamus' but a Hippo does not 'move his tail like a cedar'. These references do not clearly show Biblical evidence for the existence of dinosaurs, their existence was already established when the first bones were discovered. And of course science dates even the latest dinosaurs well before Job's time.

Science does not tell nature how to behave but initially studies how it all works. Nature really dictates to us! Science only firstly 'observes' nature and then 'philanthropic' technology will try to manipulate that to the benefit of humankind. Albeit scientific theory is not always correct but the process has to begin somewhere. However, regarding science and religion, if ever there exists controversy over 'irrefutable evidence (a completely intact, in the ground dinosaur skeleton is irrefutable fact)' then it has to be 'religion' that is in error because, again, nature cannot lie.

Rather than trying to dictate the way things work scientists let nature teach them and made incredible strides. Today we look to the scientific community for answers about nature and it is very evident that without science we would still be in the dark ages. Not everything is good but there are many things that are better and that is progress.

Although both religion and science survived the tumultuous times and manage to co-exist within present society, they are still often at odds. However, it is now apparent that science has gained the upper-hand and now the pendulum has swung the other way (the pendulum always swings the other way). Today most everyone, including the religious, recognize the benefit of higher education.

I am not suggesting that science is infallible, there are examples where errors have been made; i.e. the wrong head on the wrong dinosaur, etc. Science is continually changing it's mind as new discoveries are made, however, where there is irrefutable evidence for something or close enough to, everyone should listen. Far too often concerning science where it appears to refute the Bible, religion in the past and at times even now, throws the baby out with the bath-water.

Many scientists frustrated by illogical religion threw away all notions of a divine God and became contemptuous towards anything to do with the Bible. When I mention the Bible to a scientist in any field, I have always met with that same cold silence which screams 'get your head out of the dark ages'. Yet science and the Bible should be working together and regarding the Bible, science must be willing to bow to the same rules of serious evidence as they expect regarding their scientific work. If the Bible was inspired by the same divine being who created nature then nature and God and the Bible must be the same things!!!

Many years ago astronomers told us the universe began with a Big Bang and Christian communities were affronted, once again thinking this theory refuted the Bible's account of creation. However, the Bible actually agrees with this; Isaiah 40:22 says; "It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth…that stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in." Notice the word 'circle' which reveals the earth is 'round'. Another verse from Isaiah (42:5a) says; "Thus says God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out…" The phrase 'stretches out' or 'stretched them out' means just that, 'to stretch' or 'spread out' and we now know from astronomers that the universe is still expanding (stretching out) from the Big Bang. Psalm 104:2 repeats the information from Isaiah; "Who covers yourself with light as with a garment: who stretches out the heavens like a curtain."

The phrase 'stretches out' is self explanatory, however, the real meaning of the word 'curtain' is hidden in this context. Although the initial Hebrew translation from the Psalms verse means 'a hanging', the primitive root of that word is 'yara' which means 'to be broken up (with any violent action)'. (You can check out the translation in any Hebrew dictionary.) The same word from Isaiah translated means, 'something crumbling' or 'a thin cloth' and the primitive root of that word means 'crush, crumble, break into pieces' or 'to collapse'. A big bang would certainly and violently 'break things up'. However, the translation suggests a 'breaking down' (collapse) of something.

Some astronomers are now predicting the Big Rip as the universe stretches too thin. 2,3 Previous translations about the 'curtain' liken it to a 'thin' cloth, which means the dark matter which the universe is comprised of is 'thin'.
 
Nature 'is' God as the Bible 'is' God. They cannot be separated as if they can some how be distinct from each other. If we look to science as it describes nature we should never be concerned the Bible will disagree with that or visa versa. Nature is many-faceted and at times extremely complicated, but not so profound that with enough time and study we are unable to unlock her secrets.

Christianity has failed to correctly portray God because they have seen Him almost entirely as a 'religious' deity rather than the scientific creator He really is. In fact it must be said that God is the greatest scientist because He made what everyone else studies.

Those who believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible should be excited about proven discoveries within the scientific community because those things can only serve to prove the authenticity of the Bible and so, it's author.

The earth is running out of time and it is the scientific community that is endeavoring to help our failing planet. Science is seriously looking for solutions whereas some Bible-based groups often seem more concerned with doomsday predictions.

My hope is to breach the great chasm of disinterest which presently exists between science and the Bible, and challenge religious inconsistency by using Biblical and natural law. Very possibly much of the scientific community will not listen because they are already convinced, due to illogical Christian teaching, that the Bible is nonsense. I have little doubt Christian communities won't be excited either, however, I am hoping there are those in both camps who will at least hear a person out before making a judgment.

I have as my personal consolation men of history like Galileo who said, "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Although Galileo was a prominent citizen of his time, his ideas were suppressed by the church and in a very real sense he became a martyr for truth because he defended nature. He was put under house arrest by the church because he had good reason to believe the earth revolved around the sun rather than the then popular belief that the earth was the center of the galaxy.
 
Influential institutions in any age must be careful of how they wield their power or they will inevitably end up apologizing to future generations.

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References used:

  1. Dawn Wessel, "Science: Champion of the Bible." Download the book or purchase a printed copy from http://www.lulu.com Enter "Wessel" in the "Shop for" box and click on "Go."
  2. UniverseToday contains many articles on the "big rip." Use the internal search facility at: http://www.universetoday.com
  3. "New Clues About the Nature of Dark Energy: Einstein May Have Been Right After All," HubbleSite, 2004-FEB-20, at: http://hubblesite.org/

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Home page > Visitors' essays > here

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Originally posted: 2005-JUL-10
Latest update: 2005-JUL-10
Author: Dawn Wessel

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